By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural's boys soccer team survived a scare from Seaman to remain undefeated on the year with a 2-1 overtime decision Tuesday night at McElroy Field.
But the major topic of post-game conversation for both the winning and losing coaches was the gutsy performance turned in by the underdog Vikings against the 12-0-0 Junior Blues.
"Seaman did a great job of keeping us off the board early and they kind of got confidence as the game went on and they put all the pressure on us, which was good for us,'' said Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel, whose team got the win on an overtime goal from senior Ashton Rake. "We hadn't been behind all year in a game and we certainly hadn't been close to going to overtime, so all the credit to them.''
Rake's goal, which came at the 7:18 mark of the first overtime period off an assist from senior Porter Schafersman, was the only time the Junior Blues led on the night.
"You're going to have a couple of nights like that, and it happened,'' said Hensyel, whose team was coming off a perfect 3-0 weekend in a national tournament in Iowa. "But to me, all of this is about Seaman. I thought they were great and they had an awesome plan. Whatever they were trying to accomplish they did it to perfection and we had to make some great plays to score twice.
"We were fortunate to win and congrats to Seaman on a great game.''
Seaman dropped to 4-8-0 on the season with the loss, but Viking coach Jacob Kirmer had nothing but praise for his team.
"We were right where we've been working to get to,'' Kirmer said. "We've seen a lot of improvement from top to bottom. Losing our senior leader (Kyson Evans) there in the first half killed us and Kaelin Loy went down and wasn't able to return and we had some guys step up out of position and absolutely battled to the end.
"I'm extremely proud of where we're at.''
Washburn Rural got a ton of shots on goal against the Vikings, but Seaman junior goalkeeper Ayden Thompson came up with save after save to keep his team in the game.
"He did a magnificent job and he's a great keeper,'' Kirmer said. "Hopefully he gets an opportunity to play at the next level. Thankfully we have him for another year.
"He's done that all year and our defense helped him out about as much as they could and he just worked his tail off for us.''
Seaman took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half on a goal from senior Pablo Font off an assist from senior Gavin Wilhelm, but Rural pulled even late in the half on a goal from senior Kaden Hill off an assist from sophomore Devin Rutschmann and the score remained deadlocked until Rake's game-winner.
WASHBURN RURAL 2, SEAMAN 1 (OT)
Seaman (4-8-0) 1 0 0 -- 1
Washburn Rural (12-0-0) 1 0 1 -- 2
Seaman -- Goal: Pablo Font. Assist: Gavin Wilhelm.
Washburn Rural -- Goals: Kaden Hill, Ashton Rake. Assists: Devon Rutschmann, Porter Schafersman.